During his lesson on Saturday afternoon Tomohiko told me about his experiences while attending a oil production equipment suppliers’ conference on Bali island. The host company of the conference had arranged a special price of $200 per night for all conference attendees. Tomohiko told me that this special price allowed each attendee to use a luxurious bungalow which included a bedroom, a kitchen, a living room, a dining room and also small swimming pool. Tomohiko said that, as he was attending the conference alone, it was much more space than he needed and due to the spaciousness, he was prone to always checking carefully to make sure no one was hiding anywhere in the bungalow each time he returned. He said that as a person from an urban lifestyle, who is not used to such large accommodations and being awakened by the sound of birds chirping in the morning before 5:00 a.m., he just could not feel relaxed until he was safe back in Kobe where he could enjoy the familiar and pleasant sounds of street noise and train horns.
We are creatures of habit and it takes time to get fully adjusted to new surroundings . So when we travel to a far-away land and experience something quite different from what we are used to no matter how nice it is, we often cannot relax and feel like a fish out of water. (= to feel out of place or out of your natural environment)
It was a very interesting story. Tomohiko travels a lot and enjoys Hollywood movies and U.S. TV programs which he watches in English to build up his listening skill. He speaks English with a lot of confidence. It has been and continues to be fun to help Tomohiko to improve his communication skill. His effort also leads me to want to continue my efforts to improve my Japanese ability too.